Come 2022 and the National chess championships, across the board, will see a massive hike of ₹76 lakh in prize-money.
With MPL Sports signing a ₹1 crore deal with the All India Chess Federation for the title-sponsorship of all its Nationals, the players from the under-8 to the seniors stand to gain heavily.
The National championships, both Open and for women will see a prize-fund hike of ₹10 lakh each, while the National junior gets the second biggest raise of ₹7.50 lakh and the National sub-juniors ₹6.50 lakh.
Kanpur will host the ₹30-lakh National championship while the ₹25-lakh National women championship will be held at Bheemavaram, from February 9.
In addition, two round robin events for women, offering ₹10 lakh each, will take place from June 30-July 8 in Tamil Nadu and from August 12-20 in Goa.
In another welcome step, 13 International Opens are proposed across the country. Though the minimum prize-money for these is fixed at ₹15 lakh each, the aggregate prize-fund is likely to run into a few crore.
“Our endeavour to raise the profile of chess continues,” said the AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan and pointed out, “therefore we have decided to help the financial health of host associations of the Nationals to keep 75% of the entry-free collection and the rest will come to the AICF. Earlier, it was shared equally.
“Further, the Earnest Money Deposit (EMD), submitted by all host associations to AICF, is now refundable. Earlier, this deposit was non-refundable.”
National championships:Jan. 9-14: Junior (u-20) in Delhi (Prize-money ₹10 lakh); 17-21: Schools (Bhubanneshwar, ₹5 lakh); 23-31: Sub-junior (U-16) (Visakhapatnam, ₹9 lakh).
Feb. 2-7: Amateur (Rajasthan*, ₹3 lakh); 9-17 Women (Bheemavaram, ₹25 lakh); 9-21: -Senior (Kanpur, ₹30 lakh);
April 1-7: U-10 (Jammu, ₹5 lakh); 2-5: Rapid and Blitz (Maharashtra*, ₹6.50 lakh); 9-16: U-8 (Gurugram, ₹5 lakh); 9-16: Team (Open and women) (Maharashtra*, ₹10 lakh); 18-25: U-18 (Coimbatore, ₹9 lakh).
May 2-9: U-12 (Mandya, ₹8 lakh); 11-18: U-14 (Ahmedabad, ₹8 lakh).
Proposed International Opens: Feb. 23 to Mar. 2 (Ahmedabad); Mar. 4-11 (Pune); Mar. 13-20 (Guwahati); Mar. 22-29 (Delhi); May 21-29 (Kolkata); May 31-June 18 (Odisha*); June 10-18 (Visakhapatnam); June 20-28 (Bengaluru); Aug. -22-30 (Punjab*); Sept. 1-9 (Bikaner); Sept. 11-19 (Indore); Sept. 21-29 (Chhattisgarh*); Oct. 1-9 (Uttar Pradesh*).
*denotes host city to be decided .